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Mimonette77: Tapering off Prozac-after 24 years!


rnlmonette77

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I have been on 40 mgs. of Prozac since I was 18.  After 20 some years, the 40 of Prozac was pooping out, so I was upped to 60 mgs.  After about 4 more years, it seems to not be doing much for me and after a couple of failed and short attempts at 2 SNRI's, (viibryd and pristiq), I have decided to taper off antidepressants completely. I am now on 40 mgs. of Prozac.  After so many years, is it worth trying to taper? Even if it takes years, I will feel better if I'm at least trying. Has anyone else had success at tapering off completely after being on Prozac for so long?

Prozac 40 mgs. for  20 years, upped to 60mgs. after apparent poop-out; 

switched to Viibryd - 20 mgs., up to 40mgs., back to 20, and off;

switched to pristiq 50mgs. for 3 weeks;

back to prozac 20mgs.

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mimonette77, welcome to SA. I have moved your post to introductions because it is specifically about your taper.

This will be your thread to add to whenever you like. A kind of journal.  You can post questions on any of the other

topics but it is best for questions relating to your taper to be in one place so all your info is together. 

 

The good news for you is that prozac is one of the easiest to taper and many people switch to prozac to taper from

other AD's . We recommend no more than 10% reduction of the current dose, with no less that a month between

drops.  Some people choose a micro taper, with smaller drops more often, and it takes about the same time  to taper

in the end.  The key is to listen to your body. If you experience withdrawal symptoms then you are going too fast or 

the cuts are too big. Start slow and you will get used to your body telling you  whether it is ready to cut or needs to

stay put for a while. 

 

Here is the topic for tapering prozac http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/759-tips-for-tapering-off-prozac-fluoxetine/

 

It would help us if you can put your drug history in your signature, here is how to do that. http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/893-please-put-your-withdrawal-history-in-your-signature/

 

I am so glad you found us before starting to taper , most of us ended up here suffering from a too fast taper or cold turkey

but you can now avoid that suffering  :)

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

In answer to your question: yes, in my opinion, it's worth trying to taper, as long as you do it slowly enough that you don't get sick with withdrawal. After 20 years and starting young before your brain was fully mature, that's going to mean a taper that will take at least a couple of years, and in my opinion it would be safest to take even longer, but your body will guide you.

 

What I've found in my own taper is that even without getting all the way off the meds I have had SO much improvement, so much getting my own personality and enthusiasm for life back, just by getting to very low doses, that even if I can't come all the way off I am immensely grateful that I've tapered down this far. 

 

So I think you'll find that it will be worth it, whether you get all the way off it or you just get down to a maintenance dose of a few milligrams. You'll be surprised how much the Prozac has taken away from your experience of life, as you begin to get it back.

 

Right now before you do anything I would recommend you read through our materials in the Tapering section, following the links given. And I would recommend you get a copy of Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker and read at least the intro and the chapter on antidepressants (the whole book is well worth reading and it's an enjoyable read, though).

 

Welcome to SA!

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

Oct 2022       4.5 mg Lamictal    (off Celexa, off Xanax)   0.95 Valium    Ambien, 1/4 to 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet 

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have spent many years on psychiatric pills and have still found it quite easy to give them up, especially citalopram which I understand is quite similar to Prozac.  It is certainly worth a go, being on them a long time is not necessarily an indicator of greater withdrawal problems than most.

 

Just take one day at a time, and tell yourself you always have the option of going back on the Prozac at the original dose or a lower dose.  View it as a 'withdrawal trial' only, this is always a 'suck it and see' situation.

 

take care

 

Back to 20 mg at some point

22/3/18 down to 19.8 mg and feeling well

31/3/18 down to 19.6 mg and feeling well

14/4/18 down to 19.4 mg

05/5/18 down to 19.2 mg and feeling well

14/5/18 kicked out of my marital home/marriage/family unexpectedly when son took over farm

During many hospitalisations for shock/stress put on

1mg lorazepam prn

50mg quetiapine night for sleep

40 mg citalopram

10/01/2021  stopped taking quetiapine totally after a slow taper

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Mimonette-

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants!

 

I'm seeing your thread for the first time even though you posted a month ago. I hope you'll log back in...

 

I'm tapering off of Prozac after 25+ years on the drug! the first 22 or so on 60mg. I also began taking the drug at 18-years-old.

 

I am now down to 8.1mg and it's been 100% worth it for me. I had had a lot of side effects, many of which I thought were permanent, that are now gone now.

 

I can't emphasize enough the importance of a slow taper. I'd tried going cold turkey or have tapered much too quickly in the past only to suffer horrendous withdrawal symptoms that convinced me I would always have to take Prozac and forced me to reinstate the drug.

 

I hope you'll let us know how you're doing.

1988-2012: Prozac @ 60mg (with a few failed attempts to discontinue)

Fall 2012: Returned to 40mg after horrid withdrawal symptoms 

Fall 2013: 40mg Fluoxetine, added 150mg Wellbutrin to treat fatigue 

Winter 2014: Attempting to taper (too fast)

April 2014: 9mg Fluoxetine + 37.5 Wellbutrin 

Summer 2014: 8 mg Fluoxetine + 0 Wellbutrin

Late summer/Early Fall 2014: Debilitating Withdrawal symptoms 

Oct- Dec 2014: Panicked reinstatement began ->30mg Fluoxetine 

March 2015->Jan 2021: taper to 20mg Fluoxetine 

Jan 2021 20 mg - Began tapering by 1mg every 2-3 months

December 2022: 9mg

My 2014 withdrawal experience: https://rxisk.org/antidepressant-withdrawal-a-prozac-story/

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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